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Graduate Certificates

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Graduate Student at the Roanoke Higher Education Center

Virginia Tech offers graduate certificates in a wide range of disciplines across the university's colleges and campuses. Some also are offered online. The following list provides information about the certificates and links to their program and Graduate Catalog webpages. The catalog pages provide a link to the online application system, admission requirements, and course requirements for completing the certificate. Contact information and campuses on which the certificates are provided on the catalog page. Note that some programs are in development, and we will provide links to their program pages in the Graduate Catalog as they become available.

You'll find a link to the Graduate Certificate application below, and a link to our Data pages related to graduate certificate enrollment and completion.

To learn more about our graduate certificates and the process for applying to them, please watch the following video:

This certificate is aimed at helping students learn to critically assess the present cultural forces, structural forces, and historical conditions affecting the economic, legal, educational, social, and moral status of people African descent. 

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This program emphasizes foundational methods spanning economic analysis, data analytics, predictive modeling, and data visualization. An emphasis is placed on relevant business and agribusiness applications. The certificate prepares students by allowing them to develop high-level skills that span applied economics, agribusiness management, and data analytics.

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Catalog webpage (under development)

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics is designed to teach students the fundamental principles of statistics and the skills necessary to use statistical computer programs for data analysis. Students will learn how to choose the appropriate statistical model for a research project, prepare a data set for analysis, and use the applicable computer software program to analyze data sets. 

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The Arts Leadership Certificate offers courses in a variety of arts management areas, including arts leadership and management, arts marketing, development (fundraising), human resources in the arts, and arts advocacy. 

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The Graduate Certificate in Big Data is designed to teach students the fundamentals of "big data" which include creating and analyzing large-scale data sets (i.e., larger than 1 terabyte) that cannot be analyzed by traditional computer programs and strategies. 

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More information coming soon

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The Graduate Certificate in Business Data Analytics is designed to teach students the fundamentals of using data to make decisions in a business setting. Students will learn how to organize and manage databases in such a way that useful information can be extracted, analyzed, and visualized using analytics software. 

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The Graduate Certificate in Cognition and Education provides an advanced understanding of current theories and principles of academic learning and motivation, as well as strategies that instructors can use to foster students’ learning and motivation. This certificate is appropriate for graduate students who are considering careers as teachers, higher education professors, educational researchers, educational program administrators, educational leaders, instructional designers, sports coaches, and others interested in designing effective instruction.

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The Collaborative Community Leadership graduate certificate program prepares participants to facilitate collective leadership responses to the challenges of our world and local communities.

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The graduate certificate in construction engineering for infrastructure projects is an online self-paced program where you will learn to manage aspects of infrastructure construction projects from planning through delivery and administration.

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The Cybersecurity Engineering (CSEC) Graduate Certificate focuses on developing advanced knowledge and skills in key areas of cybersecurity, including information security, network security, software security, and hardware security.  

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The purpose of this certificate is to provide students with a broad understanding of  concepts and principles that will support management of organizations with cybersecurity concerns. The certificate will prepare students to plan, manage, and assess cyber technologies needed to secure critical corporate data and information.

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This certificate aims to provide students with a broad understanding of key factors influencing policies on cybersecurity at all levels. Cybersecurity policy is inherently trans-disciplinary, incorporating elements of technology, business, criminology, and national/international governance. The emphasis is to equip students with a strong understanding of these elements and prepare them to implement policies that improve the state and practice of cybersecurity for all stakeholders.

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The cutting edge of IT Security extends well beyond the traditional defensive measures employed by most business and public sector entities today. And at the edge lies the collection and assessment of threat data. However, collection requires an understanding of the probable data elements that constitute a realistic threat; while assessment requires a sophisticated understanding of the systems and technologies used to collect this information. This set of three courses in the certification in Cybersecurity Technologies, will provide students with the specialized knowledge required to attack this problem domain. 

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The purpose of this certificate is to prepare students for technical careers in big data analytics and data science. Students will acquire in-depth technical skills that will enable them to understand the underlying technical fundamentals of data analytics, to develop new analytical methods, and to engineer new analytical tools. Students will acquire skills that integrate computational, statistical, and engineering techniques that form the heart of big data analytics. The certificate will provide students with formal recognition of their skills to better support their career prospects.

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The Graduate Certificate in Disaster Resilience is designed to teach students the full complexity of disaster risk and resilience at the intersections of science, engineering, social science, and public policy. This certificate program helps students overcome discipline-specific conceptualizations, and generate new transdisciplinary knowledge and solutions for achieving disaster resilience.

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The field of economic development generally includes the private and public sectors, as well as civic and community stakeholders working to attract, create, and retain employment opportunities in order to cultivate a resilient and inclusive economy. The Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.

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This certificate was designed for students with interests in research methodology, as it relates to education, the behavioral sciences, and the social sciences, and emphasizes the areas of evaluation/assessment, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods (i.e., applied statistics and measurement). The certificate is also intended for students who already hold a graduate degree but who wish to obtain a credential in research methodology that will be of benefit to them in academic and other careers.

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The Engineering Education Certificate program is designed for graduate students in engineering and engineering-related disciplines who are interested in learning more about developing educational experiences in engineering and other important issues and considerations for those who educate engineers.

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This certificate will help students create a business plan that includes the financial, human resource, and leadership components vital for their success. What makes the program unique is the inclusion of an optional franchising course to provide students with the expertise needed to consider moving beyond their initial start-up to becoming a franchise in the future.

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This graduate certificate in Environmental Politics and Policy is designed for students who wish to demonstrate special competence in policy design for protecting the environment and enhancing the quality and sustainability of human-nature interactions. This certificate provides skills in relation to climate policy, social adaptation of human communities, the protection of ‘wild’ nature, renewable and sustainable energy efforts, and environmental and climate justice, in addition to familiarizing students with the policy-making process.

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Students will develop an understanding of the European Union (EU) and its 27 countries, legal system, institutions, economy, and major internal and external policies. They will also develop knowledge of the political and economic causes of tensions between the U.S. and its European allies. Graduates will be able to analyze how domestic and international political and security changes affect relations between the U.S. and Europe. Graduates will also be able to evaluate Europe’s economic policies, the impacts on transatlantic relations, and inform decisions made by American businesses and financial institutions.

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This graduate certificate program is designed for students who wish to demonstrate special competence in the ability to evaluate contemporary politics. This requires a solid understanding of how thinkers in the past addressed the politics of their times and places. In addition to canonical Western sequences, students will engage with work in Latin American-New World and Eastern traditions, as well as postcolonial and decolonial thought, democratic theory and American and Continental strands of critical theory.

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This certificate aims to prepare graduate students to become future faculty and academic leaders in higher education by exposure to concepts that break the mold of existing practices in the field, including pedagogy, technology, and diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices. 

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The Inclusion and Diversity certificate extends graduate students' work in other disciplines by critically exploring the contemporary and historical foundations of diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusion within multiple fields. It explores biases, strategies for developing inclusive climates, fostering inclusion, and engagement to address diversity management, opportunities, and challenges.

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The Graduate Certificate in Gerontology explores aging from a multidisciplinary perspective, with a focus on both typical and problematic aspects of aging. Certificate students will study the social, psychological and physical aspects of aging with options to complete a practicum, field study, or research.

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The Global Planning and International Development Studies certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions that systematically tackle and resolve global planning and development issues.

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This certificate is designed for professionals seeking training and experience in international sustainable development, with a particular emphasis on environmental sustainability in emerging economies.

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The certificate in Health Information Technology aims to provide competence in patient informatics and the use of evidence based medicine, electronic prescribing, and telemedicine as tools to improve patient health and medical systems operation through grounding in health record organization from the multiple perspectives of patients, technicians, nurses, hospital administration, and insurance companies. Students will understand the use of business intelligence and analytics in data rich organizations  and obtain the ability to develop and apply business intelligence and analytics solutions to various types of decision problems.

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The graduate certificate program in Higher Education Administration targets full-time college administrators who may not have studied higher education through any formal degree program but wish to develop a deeper understanding of the environment in which they work.

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The graduate certificate in homeland security policy prepares students to lead and manage in homeland security and emergency management agencies and organizations. Participants analyze a range of hazards and threats from natural disasters to cyber attacks, active shooters, pandemics, climate change, disinformation, migration, and border security. 

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This graduate certificate will provide middle managers in the Hospitality and Tourism industry with the tools and skills required to engage in high-level strategic thinking and analysis in the areas of revenue management and business analytics. Specifically, this certificate will provide methods to utilize information systems as tools for dynamic forecasting of supply and demand and maximize profits in HTM-related businesses.

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This certificate provides an introduction to using human-centered approaches to address societal issues. 

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Each year, more than 30,000 fatalities occur on U.S. highways alone, at an estimated economic cost of more than $200 billion. The HFTS GCP focuses on applied human factors issues related to transportation safety and aims to exemplify Virginia Tech’s hands-on and minds-on approach to education.

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The certificate in Human Sexuality Studies program draws on diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives to produce insights into how sexual expression, behavior, and representation are shaped by multiple intersecting individual and cultural contexts, and how they, in turn, shape the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations. 

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This certificate aims to give graduate students the opportunity to develop their skills in Human-Computer Interactions through courses and through their thesis or dissertation work.

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A four-course academic program that serves to expand and improve systems management and engineering practice, with emphasis on “human-technology interface” at various levels in the hierarchy and throughout the life cycle of complex technological and enterprise systems.

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The Inclusion and Diversity certificate extends graduate students' work in other disciplines by critically exploring the contemporary and historical foundations of diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusion within multiple fields. It explores biases, strategies for developing inclusive climates, fostering inclusion, and engagement to address diversity management, opportunities, and challenges.

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This graduate certificate program in Information, Policy and Society is designed for students who wish to gain knowledge of the main theoretical approaches to understanding the information policy terrain, and applied knowledge of policymaking environments that encompass multiple stakeholders. As digital technologies interact and become more deeply embedded within society, federal and state agencies as well as businesses large and small increasingly require individuals with the skills necessary to respond to the demands of an increasingly complex policy terrain.

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The Business Information Systemscertificate prepares the student to become a business information systems developer using both structured and object-oriented systems development approaches. It also prepares the student to design and develop business information systems that use a relational database.

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The IT arena presents a specialized set of management challenges. While there is some validity to the argument that management is an abstract skill which can be employed in any setting, the management problems which typically surface in large, complex IT projects, require a basic understanding of the underlying technologies. This certificate seeks to present a useful subset of these technologies.

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The Graduate Certificate in Integrative STEM Education focuses on investigating the pedagogical connections and integrative strategies of a design based approach for teaching and learning STEM content and practices. This graduate certificate was designed to be appropriate for advanced graduate students considering careers as higher education faculty, educational administrators, research scientists, and policymakers.

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This certificate program is available to graduate students who are affiliated with the Water INTERface (WI) Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program (IGEP) at either the master's degree or Ph.D. level. Students who successfully complete the 9 credits of WI IGEP coursework are eligible to apply to receive the certificate. Students may be affiliated with any department with WI IGEP mentorship agreement by a certificated WI IGEP Faculty.

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The purpose of this certificate is to provide middle managers in the Hospitality and Tourism industry with the tools and skills required to prepare them to engage in high-level strategic thinking and analysis on a global scale. In particular, this certificate will provide specific methods to utilize as part of their analysis and understanding of international markets and trends in HTM and ultimately allow certificate holders to compete for upper level managerial positions.

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Students who engage in research while living in other countries can gain valuable disciplinary expertise as well as deep understanding of cultural dimensions of research that are essential for fruitful global endeavors. This certificate provides a means of recognizing students’ efforts and accomplishments in gaining background knowledge required for successful international research collaborations and in conducting research abroad.

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The Internet and Network Technologies Certificate will provide students with the specialized knowledge required to understand this problem domain. 

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The online Graduate Certificate in Leadership for an Aging Society employs leaders in aging to prepare current professionals and graduate students to lead and manage organizations and entities that serve older adults. Students will learn how to lead an organization that serves an aging society while weaving together biopsychosocial aspects and ethical issues of aging as well as public policy impacting older adults and their families, with the option to complete a capstone project.

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The Certificate in the Learning Sciences provides an advanced understanding of learning in formal and informal environments, integrating perspectives from instructional design and technology, educational psychology, and social foundations of education.

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The graduate certificate program in local government management provides the next generation of local government managers and leaders with the tools to advance their careers and to provide exceptional leadership within the communities where they work. The central goal of the program is to offer graduate-level training in local government management that both prepares pre-career students for capable public service at the local level and enhances the capacities of existing local government employees who aspire to be town, city, or county managers or assistant/deputy managers.

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This is a cross-disciplinary graduate certificate comprised of 9 credits of key coursework in the MA Program in Material Culture and Public Humanities. These courses focus on material objects and their placement in theoretical, cultural, and historical perspectives, as well as public representations of a wide range humanities-based knowledge. As such, the Certificate prepares students for careers in museums, historical societies, and other cultural organizations.

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This certificate provides students with the tools to interpret, analyze, and assess contemporary politics and society in the Middle East. The certificate focuses on the politics, society, and history of the peoples of North Africa, Southwestern Asia, Asia Minor, and the Arabian Peninsula, related borderlands and island groups, and including emigrant and immigrant groups. 

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The Graduate Certificate in Mission Engineering is designed to teach students engineering methods to design, develop, and assess complex system-of-systems using mission engineering tools and practices in combination with the tactical insights of operational planning. Students will learn how to identify mission-level operational needs to develop clear problem statements and apply mission engineering techniques to translate these needs into specific programmatic guidance for critical programs.

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The Graduate Certificate in Multidisciplinary Research in International Development allows graduate students already working towards a graduate degree to attain special recognition for work pertaining to international development. It is designed to encourage students to broaden their academic experiences while enabling them to better face international challenges

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The Graduate Certificate in Natural Resources is a good option for professionals seeking credentials in environmental and natural resource management, graduate students in another discipline looking to formalize their knowledge and training in an environmental field, and potential master of natural resources degree students interested in exploring the coursework and earning graduate credits before making a decision.

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This certificate program enables graduate students throughout the College of Engineering to better prepare for this critical profession. It is open to all graduate students in the College of Engineering, including Distance Learning students.

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The certificate offers a streamlined curriculum focusing on the seamlessness between international and domestic environments, engaged pedagogy, reflexivity, and collaborative learning.

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The Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate provides a purposeful, cohesive set of technical electives in nuclear engineering and facilitates networking among faculty, students, and employers in nuclear engineering applications.

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The Nuclear Science, Technology, and Policy (NSTP) Graduate Certificate integrates policy and management with nuclear science and technology to prepare students from diverse educational backgrounds for careers managing and leading nuclear policy organizations across the spectrum of safety, security, safeguards, and non-proliferation. 

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The certificate teaches students how to manage an organization’s communication plan. Students will learn how to collect and analyze data related to how an organization’s communication plans are perceived by internal and external stakeholders, such as employees and customers. 

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The graduate certificate program in Politics and Policy Studies of Science and Technology (STS) serves graduate students, professionals, and practitioners who seek conceptual tools and frameworks for navigating the world of science and technology policy. Students will study a range of policy areas, such as bioethics, information technology, and infrastructure.

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We are all problem solvers, making us all agents of change, and if we choose to do so, we can lead. Coursework is designed around you, a problem solver, and the change you want to make, and working with people who don’t solve problems in the way you prefer.

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Solve issues and address opportunities in your discipline by applying a public health lens. Through this certificate, you will gain essential knowledge and skills that will enable you to make actionable change that improves population health. Courses cover the core areas of public health, including epidemiology, health policy and administration, environmental health, and health behavior.

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The Graduate Certificate in Public History enables students to develop the analytical and interpretive tools of a graduate history education and to apply them in public practice. 

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The  graduate certificate in Public and Non-profit Financial Management is designed to develop students' and working professionals’ understanding of critical paths that examine citizen and donor dollar uses and protections, as well as concepts and strategic practices that merge larger economic issues with organization needs and goals.  The certificate integrates financial management perspectives from the federal, state, local and nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations while synthesizing the concept of financial resiliency for organizations. 

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The Race and Social Policy Certificate Program is a 12-hour concentration,  providing an opportunity for Master's and Ph.D. level graduate students to develop understanding of issues of race, ethnicity and culture, especially as they relate to public policy. The certificate program's practical value includes the enhancement of knowledge and analytical abilities regarding the intersection of race, ethnicity and social policy issues.

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The purpose of the graduate certificate in Religion and the Public Sphere is to teach students from various disciplines to apply knowledge about the role of religion plays in the public sphere. Students will address the role of religion in political and public spaces where citizens debate public affairs, beyond the theological and private spaces with which religion is ordinarily associated. 

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As remote sensing becomes more sophisticated and available, more and more disciplines are using it. The Remote Aensing certificate ensures that you'll come out with a more profound knowledge of the techniques and science behind remote sensing and how you can employ it in your research.

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This certificate responds to the National Institute of Health’s Roadmap for Medical Research, launched in 2004 to promote biomedical research and to Virginia Tech’s initiatives to expand educational and research programs in the health sciences. It provides the opportunity for graduate students to acquire specialized expertise in translational medicine research methods along with focal studies in their majors.  

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This certificate enhances the capacities of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care (STEM-H) graduate students to be effective participants and collaborators in policy processes. The program develops participants’ abilities to engage with complex public problems, recognizing that they are social and technical in nature.

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The Science and Technology Studies (STS) graduate certificate offers students and practitioners in any field the opportunity to study the social, cultural, political, and ethical dimensions of science and technology. Students will acquire concepts and research tools from a range of social science and humanities approaches

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The graduate certificate program in Security Studies is designed for students who wish to demonstrate special competence in security issues. The program uses a holistic lens to support student learning in the areas of critical thinking, concise writing and effective briefing. Through the program students will acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to gather, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data relating to questions of national and international security, defense policy in specific world regions, terrorist and counterterrorist operations, and insurgency, counterinsurgency, and urban warfare.

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The purpose of this certificate is to provide students with a solid foundation in the tools and principles that underlie modern software development.   The emphasis is on object-oriented software design and development, the most widely used approach for building complex software systems today.

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A four-course academic program focused on the establishment, operation and management of enterprise capabilities for technological innovation – addressing the full spectrum of basic science (research), technology development (invention/intellectual property), product/service development, commercialization, deployment, maintenance, modernization, and retirement of performance enabling technologies.

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The graduate certificate in Transportation Planning and Policy is designed to teach students about travel behavior, transportation systems, and related public policies. Students will learn about determinants of walking, cycling, public transport, and driving as well as the impacts transportation systems and travel behavior decisions have on  the environment, the economy, and equity.

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The Graduate Certificate in Urban Computing trains students in the latest methods in analyzing massive datasets to study key issues concerning urban populations. Students learn to apply methods in data analytics, computational modeling, and visualization. 

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The certificate trains students to make decisions that are not only technically efficient, economically sound, environmentally aware, but also socially, ethically, and politically informed. In addition, the certificate equips students with essential foundational skills that arise from actively engaging in data science combined with an understanding of cities as systems. 

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The Water INTERface Graduate Certificate integrates existing courses and research programs from multiple departments and colleges at Virginia Tech to provide an understanding and competency for students that are interested in a wide range of important topics that center around water. The complexity of societal issues related to water shortages (hygiene and quality) which influence water consumption, food production quality, and its role in human health are the focus for educating and training students in an interdisciplinary environment. 

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The Watershed Management Certificate (WSMC) integrates existing programs and courses from multiple departments and colleges at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making. The program provides excellent opportunities for students from many disciplines to study watershed management and develop interdisciplinary skills necessary for effective professional work in this emerging field.  

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The certificate in Women's and Gender Studies extends Graduate students' work in other disciplines by enabling them to examine problems from a variety of feminist theoretical perspectives. Through this study they may more acutely analyze the structural and interpersonal dimensions of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and disability.  

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